Women's College Hospital
|Women's College Hospital|
Women's College Hospital from Elizabeth Street
|Location||76 Grenville Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Affiliated university||University of Toronto|
|Founded||October 1, 1883|
For more than 100 years Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of health equity, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It focuses on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. The WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV) is developing new, scalable models of care that deliver improved outcomes for patients and sustainable solutions for the health system as a whole.
Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) is tackling some of the greatest health challenges of our time. Its scientists are conducting global research that advances the health of women and improves healthcare options for all, and are then translating those discoveries to provide much-needed improvements in healthcare worldwide.
Women's College Hospital began as Woman's Medical College in 1883. On June 13, 1883, Dr. Emily Stowe (1831–1903) the first Canadian woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada – led a group of her supporters to a meeting at the Toronto Women's Suffrage Club, stating "that medical education for women is a recognized necessity, and consequently facilities for such instruction should be provided." The motion was seconded adding "that the establishment of such a school was a public necessity and in the interests of the community."
Less than six months after this meeting, on October 1, 1883, Toronto Mayor A.R. Boswell formally opened Woman's Medical College.
Women's College Hospital leaders
- Dr. Jessie Gray – considered at the time to be one of the top cancer surgeons in North America, she was the first woman to earn a Master of Surgery degree in Canada
- Dr. Marion Powell – a leader in raising consciousness in women’s sexual health
- Dr. Henrietta Banting – spearheaded the use of mammography
- Dr. Marion Hilliard – collaborated in the development of a simplified Pap test
- Dr. Ricky Kanee Schachter – was the first woman to lead an academic division of dermatology
- Dr. Minerva Reid - was the first female Chief of Surgery in North America
Ontario Medical College for Women
In 1895, the College amalgamated with its sister institution in Kingston, Ontario, and changed its name to the Ontario Medical College for Women. A practical experience clinic called the Dispensary was opened in Toronto in 1898. The clinic allowed female patients to obtain the services of women doctors in a field dominated by men. At the time, services were provided regardless of the patient's ability to pay and medical advice was always free.
In 1906, the University of Toronto opened its doors to permit women to study medicine, and the Ontario Medical College for Women closed. The Dispensary remained open and continued to prosper in the city.
Women's College Hospital moved to its current location in Toronto in 1935, and became a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto in 1961. Later, the hospital merged with Sunnybrook Hospital and the Orthopedic and Arthritic Hospital in 1998 under the provisions of Ontario Bill 51, becoming Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre. In 2006, they de-amalgamated and Women's College Hospital reverted to its original name. During the SARS outbreak of 2003, while still part of the erstwhile "Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre", the Women's College site housed the first ambulatory SARS clinic in Canada. Meanwhile the Sunnybrook site housed both the first in-patient SARS unit and Intensive Care Unit for SARS in Canada.
The hospital was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995. A plaque was erected by Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada at the Women's College Hospital, Grenville St., Toronto.
|“||Women's College Hospital has earned a distinctive place in Canadian medical history. From its beginnings as a small out-patient clinic in 1898 to its development as a modern teaching hospital, the institution symbolizes the struggle of women to claim their place in the medical profession. It offered them opportunities in teaching and in hospital practice, which were often unavailable or extremely limited elsewhere in the country. The hospital has made innovative contributions to the treatment and diagnosis of disease through its vital focus on health issues affecting women and families.||”|
Women's College Hospital collaborated in the invention of the simplified Pap test, opened Ontario's first regional Sexual Assault Care Centre and was the first hospital in the province to use mammography as a diagnostic tool to detect breast cancer. As of 2012, it is Ontario’s first and only independent ambulatory care centre. Ambulatory care refers to surgeries, diagnostic procedures and treatments that do not require overnight hospitalization. That means patients can be released within 18 hours, and can recover at home.
WCH consists of three wings built in 1935, 1956 and 1971 with the later two completed demolition and the former to be demolition as part of the rebuild to be completed in 2015.
Women’s College Hospital is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. Research at the hospital, university and research institute are focused around sex and gender differences in physiology and social roles, which cause women to have different health-care needs than men.
The Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) is the only one of its kind at a Canadian hospital devoted to women’s health. International researchers study breast cancer, musculoskeletal health, older women’s health and the impact of violence on women’s lives.
WCRI scientist Dr. Steven Narod was part of the team that discovered the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes as breast cancer risks– one of the most important breakthroughs in cancer research. He has changed the way international health professionals understand and test for genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer.
- After Cancer Treatment Transition Clinic: Women’s College Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital created Canada’s only After Cancer Treatment Transition Clinic (ACTT) to address the health-care needs of cancer survivors.
- Virtual Ward: With funding from the Toronto Central Local Health Institution and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, several hospitals have partnered with the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre to create the first virtual ward in North America. The Virtual Ward uses a health team to work with patients who cannot come to the hospital on a regular basis.
- CACE Complex Care Clinic: In collaboration with the University of Toronto, Women’s College Hospital is building a Centre for Ambulatory Care and Education (CACE) Complex Care Clinic. The clinic will open in 2015 and will focus on providing ambulatory care. It will be at the same location as the current hospital in downtown Toronto, Ontario. It will use an interdisciplinary approach to medicine.
- Bay Centre for Birth Control: The Bay Centre specializes in sexual and reproductive health care for women in Ontario. Services include contraceptive health care, reproductive health care, abortion care, sexual health care, and colonoscopy services. It is located near the main hospital at 790 Bay Street, Toronto.
Women's College Hospital timeline
|1883||Woman’s Medical College opens|
|1911||Women’s College Hospital and Dispensary opens: a seven-bed hospital where medically trained women could practise medicine.|
|1947||Collaborated in the development of the simplified Pap test for detecting early symptoms of cancer, particularly of the cervix.|
|1948||Opening of the first Cancer Detection Clinic in Ontario|
|1963||WCH became the first hospital in Ontario to use mammography as a diagnostic tool to detect breast cancer.|
|1971||WCH partnered with the Tri-Hospital Diabetes Education Centre, Canada’s first comprehensive teaching program in an ambulatory setting for people with diabetes.|
|1971||The first Perinatal Intensive Care Unit in Canada opens at WCH.|
|1973||Opening of the Bay Centre for Birth Control, the first hospital-supported walk-in clinic.|
|1976||Psoriasis Education and Research Centre opens – the first centre in Canada to place emphasis on self-care treatment.|
|1977||Henrietta Banting Breast Centre opens – a treatment, education and research centre for breast disease.|
|1981||Perinatal Intensive Care Unit was declared the Regional High-Risk Pregnancy Unit - The first of its kind in Canada.|
|1984||WCH opens the first regional Sexual Assault Care Centre in Ontario.|
|1987||Urgent Care Centre opens – the first of its kind in Ontario.|
|1987||Established the Brief Psychotherapy Centre for Women, the first outpatient therapy program in Canada.|
|1988||Regional Women’s Health Centre opens.|
|1988||WCH delivered the first test-tube quintuplets in Canada.|
|1991||Ricky Kanee Schachter Dermatology Centre opens – Centre opens to pursue dermatological research, education and patient care.|
|1991||The first colorectal cancer clinic in Toronto was launched by WCH (U of T Jessie Gray Colorectal Clinic)|
|1994||Opening of the first multidisciplinary osteoporosis clinic of its kind in Canada.|
|1995||WCH was designated a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Women’s Health, the first in the hemisphere.|
|1996||Opening of the Environmental Health Clinic, the only one of its kind in Ontario.|
|1996||Establishment of Canada’s first cardiac prevention and rehabilitation program designed exclusively for women (Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative).|
|2000||Creation of www.womenshealthmatters.ca, the first hospital-based consumer health information website for women.|
|2001||Response Centre and the 23-Hour Day Unit open.|
|2002||Labyrinth opens – Canada's first and only hospital-based labyrinth.|
|2003||The first SARS Assessment Clinic in Canada opens (Women’s College ACC).|
|2006||WCH became Ontario’s only academic ambulatory hospital with a primary focus on women’s health as it begins operating independently under the Public Hospitals Act.|
|2008||Completed Canada’s first breast implant reconstruction in a single stage.|
|2009||Opening of the Centre for Headache, Ontario’s only hospital-based headache centre.|
- Stowe Gullen, Augusta (1906). 'A Brief History of the Ontario Medical College for Women'.
- Women's College Hospital, Directory of Designations of National Historic Significance of Canada
- Women's College Hospital, National Register of Historic Places
- Jack Landau (October 10, 2013). "Demolition Clearing Art Deco Wing of Women's College Hospital". Retrieved October 29, 2013.